David Earle has created a large repertoire of passionate dance works for which he has been awarded the Order of Canada. His Sacra Conversazione to Mozart's Requiem has taken his name around the world.
Mr. Earle began his dance training at the age of five, and acted for eleven years with the Toronto Children's Players, directed by Dorothy Goulding.
He was a student of the National Ballet School of Canada from 1959 to 1963 and trained in modern dance with Yoné Kvietys in Toronto. He then spent two years on scholarship at the Martha Graham School in New York and was an ensemble member with the José Limón Dance Company.
From 1967 to 1968 he assisted Robert Cohan with the newly-formed London Contemporary Dance Theatre. In 1968 he returned to Toronto, and with Peter Randazzo, of the Martha Graham Dance Company, and Patricia Beatty, founded Toronto Dance Theatre. In his twenty-eight years with Toronto Dance Theatre, he worked as co-director for the first fifteen years, sole Artistic Director for seven years and Resident Choreographer for six years. It was during his time as Artistic Director with TDT that the company staged its first two triumphant seasons in New York and enjoyed successful tours to Europe and Asia.
In 1979, Mr. Earle originated the School of Toronto Dance Theatre's Professional Training Program. He has taught at the University of Quebec in Montreal, L'Ecole Superieure de Danse du Quebec, Dance Umbrella and Ballet B.C. in Vancouver, Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, the Banff School of the Arts, New York University, U.Q.A.M. and Danse Partout in Quebec City, and for fifteen years conducted summer workshops in Victoria, British Columbia.
In 1996 Mr. Earle left Toronto Dance Theatre "to preserve the values that are sacred to me in Life and in dance". He launched Dancetheatre David Earle (www.dtde.ca) to support continued creation, for the preservation of his repertoire, and to serve as a forum for younger artists whose concern is the expression of humanity in dance.
Since 2001 DtDE has had its home base in Guelph, Ontario, offering beginner to professional level modern dance classes in the technique Mr. Earle has evolved over more than forty years of teaching and creation. The DtDE Summer Intensives, now hosted in Guelph, attract post-graduate students from across Canada and Internationally each year for intensive study in technique, repertoire and new creation.
In his more than 40 years as a choreographer, Mr. Earle has created over 140 works including Sacra Conversazione, Baroque Suite, Atlantis, Boat River Moon, Dreamsend and Court of Miracles - a full evening work created in collaboration with James Kudelka, with whom Mr. Earle also choreographed Dido and Aeneas for the Stratford Music Festival and Scheherazade for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. Court of Miracles had 10 Christmas Seasons in Toronto, touring Canada and the USA. In 2003 DtDE remounted Court of Miracles in Guelph to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its creation.
Other choreographic works include; Orpheus and Eurydice - directed by Bill Glassco for the Guelph Spring Festival, Realm - commissioned by Erik Bruhn for the National Ballet of Canada, Cape Eternity for the opening of the Toronto International Festival and Sacra Conversazione and Cloud Garden for the Banff Festival of the Arts. For Ballet British Columbia he created Architecture for the Poor, and for the Polish Dance Theatre, Angels and Victories, for the World Music Days Festival in Warsaw and the 1992 Edinburgh Festival.
Since launching DtDE Mr. Earle has choreographed 41 new works - mostly commissions for performances with choirs, orchestras and chamber musicians, notably the Penderecki String Quartet. The company has performed at the Open Ears Festival, Le Baie de Chaleurs Festival and at Dancers For Life, Spring Rites, NUMUS Concert Series and with the KW Symphony. Since 2006 the company has been invited to perform in France on 5 occasions.
Mr. Earle's work has been presented on film and television in Moze Mossanen's Dance for Modern Times and The Dancemakers. For Rhombus Media, he choreographed La Valse for a film on the life of Maurice Ravel, and Romeos and Juliets, which received the Press Award from France's Grand Prix International de Video-Danse de Sete and also a Gemini award.
In March 2006 Dance Collection Danse published David Earle: A Choreographic Biography, written by Michele Green.
Among the awards and honours for his work, Mr. Earle has received the Clifford E. Lee Award from the Banff Festival of the Arts (1987), and a Dora Mavor Moore Award for best new choreography for Sunrise (1987). In 1988, along with Toronto Dance Theatre co-founders Peter Randazzo and Patricia Beatty, he received the Toronto Arts Award for Performing Arts. In May 1994, Mr. Earle received the Jean A. Chalmers Award for excellence in choreography and in 1998 the Muriel Sherrin Award for contribution to the art form of dance.
In 1996, Mr. Earle became a Member of the Order of Canada. In September 2002 he was the recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts Jacqueline Lemieux Prize for distinction in choreography. In June 2005, Mr. Earle received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the Faculty of Education, Queen’s University, Kingston. In 2006 Mr. Earle was the recipient of the Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts.
Most recently, he was awarded the 2011 Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and, in 2012, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
As an ambassador for Canada his works have been performed in Paris, London, New York, Berlin, Brussels, Lisbon, Warsaw, Edinburgh, Mexico City, Tokyo, Bejing, Seoul and on tour in Spain, France, Poland, Germany and the USA.
David Earle is much sought after as a respected teacher, lecturer and mentor. He has taught consistently at his own studio throughout his career, and has been a guest instructor across North America as well as Internationally. At 72 years of age he continues to teach, to create, and to inspire the next generation of modern dancers to explore their humanity in this, the oldest of art forms.